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Select 4 will not be ready until new year

By Chris Williams. Published: 1st Dec 2005, 18:18:33 | Permalink | Printable

No Christmas release as hoped by subscribers

The next version of RISC OS Select will not be ready until after the new year, RISCOS Ltd.'s Paul Middleton has said. Speaking to the Bristol usergroup last night, the ROL boss handed out copies of a leaflet distributed at the Guildford show which includes a list of features for Select 4. It is understood that development is on-going, and developers who have previously contributed components to the RISC OS 4 subscription scheme have been contacted to work again on the project.

With less than a month to go, the Iyonix Select pledge campaign has had 88 Iyonix users signed up to pay for an Iyonix compatible version of Select. A further 12 are needed before the deadline of December 31.

After sitting through Paul's speech, BARUG committee member Jack Evans said, "The work done so far for Advantage6 and VirtualRPC can be applied to Iyonix, saving development effort but full conversion for that hardware is a significantly complicated task.

"It's all money driven and RISCOS Ltd, without other sources of cash, need to be satisfied that there are enough owners in the relatively small Iyonix community who are willing at the end of the day to put hands in their pockets so that ROL's bottom line figure comes out black, not red."

Vocal Iyonix user and Select subscriber David Ruck commented, "The only thing I want to hear from ROL is the thud of a Select CD release on my doormat. Until then no amount of talking about what's going to be in some future mythical version is worth a damn. Subscribers have paid and received nothing for over 18 months."

RISCOS Ltd. will be exhibiting at all three road show events this month. The company also quietly held its AGM last month, where proposals including share-based fundraising are likely to have been discussed.


RISCOS Ltd. website

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Which new year was that?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/12/05 7:09PM
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People in the past, me included have moan about ROL not giving out enough information. The minute they do, some one has a go at them. No wonder they keep silent for so long.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 1/12/05 7:31PM
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Its a fact of life, 'lose lose situation'. Personally, I'd rather be kept informed.

 is a RISC OS UserJDC on 1/12/05 7:48PM
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We'll I'm not about to beleive any release date until I see it. But it has now been conviently pushed back in to the New Year, whenever it is my subscription and many others has already expired and the 3 months grace period will also be long gone. Will ROL be asking for another 105 before letting us have this release? They better hadn't be, because I've already paid for the development of that code and and been waiting over 18 months for it. Only when I receive something for the previous subsription fee will I consider making further payments, and if I don't get this release I want my money back, nothing else is acceptible.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/12/05 10:34PM
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I have to agree.

I've been in Select - then dropped out - then re-joined - and am probably now lapsed.

I understand that the original 'up to three updates a year' was optimistic but many of us have paid in good faith and have little to show for it in the last twelve months.

I really want Risc OS to move forward - and I DO think Select have improved and upgraded the OS -but I do think Select members have little to show for their support recently.

I can't see me re-joining unless I buy new hardware in the coming twelve months.

At the moment I'm trying a number of Linux options on my Windows PC. - Mandriva, Ubuntu 5.10 and Suse 10.0.

As a sad footnote at a recent Computer Show in Manchester (Northern Computer Fair) the Tiny recievers were selling off alsorts of stock - including Bush Internet Boxes (RiscOS powered) for 2UKPs each! (I bought one)

If I do buy a new machine soon it might be a MacMini rather than RiscOS option. And that's from someone who bought a BBBC 'B' machine when they first came out and who watched Ian McNought Davis on the BBC Micro Show in the early Eighties.

I now mainly run Virtual RPC - and then mainly to use !Compo

Dave C.

 is a RISC OS UserDaveC on 2/12/05 1:17AM
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Has ROL ever said Select 4 would be out before christmas? I thought that was just people speculating.

 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 2/12/05 8:48AM
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In reply to DS1: Select 4 was supposed to be out in the 4th year of the scheme, which ran from July 2004 to July 2005, we should be on Select 5 by now. Therefor therefor we had better receive Select 4 whcih we have already paid for, without demands for more money.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/12/05 9:46AM
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That's not true and you know it. At no time has ROL ever officailly said that any version of select would be out in any year. Allegedly someone at ROL is supposed to have guranteed that there would be at least one per year, but at no time has this ever been said officially. At no time have ROL, or anyone else, ever stated officially that select 4 would be out prior to christmas 2005. At various times PM has stated his hopes for when something will be released, and his hopes for what will be in it, but this has never been a formal guarantee. Indeed if you read the strict terms of the select agreement then they haven't broken them. The fact that things are delayed is sad but unavoidable. I'd rather everything was working, but delayed, than rushed and broken.

You, it would seem, want something now so that you can slate them for it not working. You, it would seem, want them to fail so that you can say 'I told you so'.

 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 2/12/05 10:42AM
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I just wish ROL would communicate more with the Select subscribers. Why they can't tell us what's going on, what new features have been completed and what might be coming in the future I just don't understand.

TALK TO US on the Select mailing list!

 is a RISC OS Userjms on 2/12/05 11:28AM
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DS1: I think Druck just wants what he thinks he is fairly owed.

SA101: "People in the past, me included have moan about ROL not giving out enough information. The minute they do, some one has a go at them. No wonder they keep silent for so long."

People complain at bad news and at no news. We've had both so far. What they don't complain about is good news.

And a general question: Where does Select 4 sit in terms general OS development? Is it a modern, 2005 OS or are we talking about something more like 1999 technology and features? I'm just curious. -- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 2/12/05 12:49PM
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DS1: Yes, convenient for them, isn't it? That way they have a carte blanche. Somehow many subscribers think they can expect at least 1 Select release per year for their money. Now where did that thought come from? Probably from some LSD trip...

ROL have very bad people skills or am I missing something here? The text file linked to in the article above has very little useful info for a non-programmer. Consequently, there are only a few things which I like about Select 4, since the rest is hocus-pocus to me. They want people to support them, don't they? Then they should learn to communicate directly (not just via a Select mailing list), honestly and clearly. Did they give a real explanation why subscribers got nothing? Or is it the satisfaction derived from involuntarily and unknowingly funding the 32 bit conversion of RO4? How about the Select 4 features which, accoring to the distributed leaflet, are partially completed - do the subscribers have to pay for that part again?

ROL must explain clearly and concisely exactly what has happened and what subscribers have, or will, receive for their money. They can't go around expecting they are the untouchable "Great Benefactors" of the market and deserve our unconditional support, because we have to "support the development of RISC OS". Supporting RISC OS is one thing, supporting an unclear or hidden agenda another.

Spriteman: "Where does Select 4 sit in terms general OS development? Is it a modern, 2005 OS or are we talking about something more like 1999 technology and features? I'm just curious."

Yes, so am I. Perhaps Mr. Middleton can demonstrate the parts of Select 4 that supposedly are ready to the public on their roadshow? Perhaps he could even compare Select features to several modern Windows or Mac OS X features? Anyway, he should be able to clearly show what it offers to people, without cryptic technical data and hypothetical potentials.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 2/12/05 1:00PM
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ROL have communicate that they are still working on Select 4 and that it isn't ready yet. I can understand people getting impatient because in the past ROL haven't been great communicators, but at the last RISC OS show people were able to see that development was continuing and ROL have improved the number and quality of their communication to users lately.

I am sure that ROL will do the right thing and make this release available to those people who have contributed to the Select Scheme and made the development possible.

This is not the first and certainly won't be the last software project to miss a deadline! Rather than bash ROL, a polite enquiry to the right people might be more appropriate.

Regards Steve

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 2/12/05 8:29PM
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Well only 29 days to go to the Select on Iyonix pledge closure date and now only 8 more people required.

Come on lets keep up the pressure and hopefully we'll not only get Select4 but Select for the Iyinix as well.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 2/12/05 8:38PM
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I'm sure that there are quite a few IYONIX users out there wanting Select. But the track record of ROL seems to keep the odd IYONIX user from sigining up now. 1. Initially ROL started out stating that several RISC OS updates - albeit some small - and on release were planned for the Select subscribers per year and by now they are down to less than one upgrade. 2. Until now I have not yet seen and real usable and guaranteed official info as for what Select for the IYONIX pc will offer compared to RISC OS 5 and what might even be gone with Select on IYONIX. 3. Futhermore until now I understand that they expect me to subscribe to some scheme and to pay anually but not release date is given so that IYONIX Select does not even have a sensible price tag.

Thus the only option open to the odd IYONIX user is to tell ROL that they are seriously interested and want to buy it at a reasonable price (whatever reasonable is). But that's it. Since my colour printer won't print money I can't afford the risk to subscribe to IYONIX Select not knowing what I pay for and how much it'll cost me.

My guess is that if ROL would state the first IYONIX Select will - offer a list of specific features which is to be stated in a manner that an end user understands what it is - be available at a fixed price which is stated as well - bug fixes for e.g. 1 year are included - a latest release date is stated (I know that that is a hard one...) then chances are good that quite a few more IYONIX users will order that - me for one (assuming the feature-price-relation is not outrageous).

But all this as well as the odd comment above about lack of information from ROL is not new ...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 3/12/05 7:23AM
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ROL are only taking expressions of interest in Select for Iyonix.

I signed up in Dec2004 for a combined option @ 15 extra to my subs for Select26 bit but they have not taken any money yet.

I'm sure once we hit the required 100 then more details will be forthcoming.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 3/12/05 8:07AM
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Spriteman: What "modern features" are you expecting? There have been various articles on Drobe arguing that some of these would be very difficult or impossible to put into RISC OS (certainly without breaking existing software), and some other things which seem to get called part of the OS on other systems don't really belong there anyway.

What does that leave us? Well, having one standard version of USB in the OS would seem to be a good idea (whichever it is). I'm sure there are plenty of other achievable things other people can think of. Has anyone told ROL what they would like in (or more importantly, have ROL ever asked anyone, instead of just doing whatever they feel like)?

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 5/12/05 10:06AM
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At one point ROL did run a survey to establish what to add to the OS and they were also, apparently, provided with all of the feedback that Castle received from the Merlin project ( [link] ).

ROL posted some of the results from their survey here:


(it makes interesting reading!)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 5/12/05 11:30AM
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SimonC: There is a Wishlist on the Select smartgroup, with 136 items.

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 5/12/05 12:51PM
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flypig: "26 bit compatability" is in there, so with that sort of feedback perhaps it's no wonder that they don't pay it too much attention. A lot of other requests aren't anything to do with the OS, either (things like web browsers). Apologies for not bothering to check before posting.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 5/12/05 1:28PM
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SimonC: Wow, yes that list makes depressing reading - perhaps it's ROL's attempt to show how hard it is to get meaningful responces from punters to seemingly simple questions like "what should we work on at ROL?".

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 5/12/05 3:14PM
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Except that wasn't the question. It quite clearly states that the question was what "things that people think are missing from RISC OS or current RISC OS computers" and the answers seem perfectly meaningful to me.

 is a RISC OS UserCogs on 5/12/05 6:18PM
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SimonC: "What 'modern features' are you expecting?"

None really. But if we accept that nothing major and new will be added I think we have to accept that RISC OS is an old OS and will remain so. If the question was "what would 'modern features' would I like to see in RISC OS?" then I would give you a very different answer.


 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 7/12/05 1:29PM
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Modern features: How about anti-aliased fonts. Drag and drop between applications and saving. Application directories. Built in vector graphics format.

Oh, but they are all only modern, if you use other systems, but on RISC OS they are just so old hat, they aren't even worth a mention are they?

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 7/12/05 5:22PM
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missed one! - some sort of bar / bit along the bottom of the screen that tells you what you've got running...?

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 7/12/05 5:59PM
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I vote for windows you can click on and they don't jump to the front of the window stack, menus that you can select items from and keep them open, and having enough buttons on the mouse that you don't have to keep 1 hand on the keyboard all the time.

Oh yeah, and PMT, Threads, better memory protection and a decent debugging system

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 7/12/05 10:00PM
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